Love can come upon you unawares. I find it has happened to me this last year. I hope you all have had a happy Valentine’s day, celebrating the ones you love and the ones who love you. And perhaps also have had some time to howl at the full moon and find the animal inside you. Goodnight everyone!
Well, I’ve decided that I’m going to try and update this thing every Friday so I’m back again. Today I gave a commissioned piece to it’s new owner. I don’t usually share commissions, but I’m pretty happy with how it came out. It was also really open commission, I was given the freedom to paint pretty much whatever I wanted so I ended up with a painting that I really enjoyed making and fits right into the work I’m doing. It’s kind of a special treat to be given this much freedom to make something especially for someone. It was really nice getting to know John and putting pieces of him into the piece.
Tonight is First Friday in downtown San Jose, and since I’ll have a piece in the Giese tribute show, I’ll be at KALEID Gallery for a bit before I go check out a few of the other exhibits. It’s really something seeing a huge sampling of sign pieces of Rey’s up on the wall, little bit’s from a career of over 70 years painting signs. You really get a feel for the person he was through his work. I like his sense of humor! The contemporary artists in the show all did fantastic work with their tribute pieces, too. There’s a write up on the show in the Metro and in the Mercury as well if you’re curious about it. The opening night is going to have a line up of cars (and a fire engine) that were painted by Rey taking up the whole left side of the street as well. Wee!
I’ve been a quiet one this last year. I’m very busy working on a few projects that I’m excited to talk about, but I’m waiting until they are a little more ready to be seen by other’s eyes. In the meantime, I’ve got a couple of shows coming up.
The first is the Rey Giese Tribute show at KALEID Gallery. I’m really stoked I got a chance to peek into the legendary Rey’s studio and choose one of his works to recreate. It was really hard to choose, there were so many amazing signs representing a lifetime of work. I ended up with this one becuase I liked that it had a pictorial element (and that parrot has such personality!) which is a lot more comfortable to me being more of a painter than a letterer. I also liked that the piece was from 1938 which is very early in his career and that felt right since I’ve only just recently started doing a wee bit of sign work. It’s kind of intimidating to be on the wall with such skilled work, hopefully people will be kind to my unpracticed attempt.
The next show is at Modern Eden. It’s the group show to accompany Sherri DeBow’s amazing solo show. The theme of the show is Nostalgia, each of us were asked to make a small work based on revered childhood toys and games. I chose to create a vanitas using my favored Death Pez dispenser (which I painted from life, yes I still have it).
I painted it on a cigarbox for keeping small treasures in. I have always had a love for boxes, I suppose it only follows that now I paint on them.
I just finished a small series of paintings on cigar boxes. Typically, I hate to explain my work. I like for my work to remain ambiguous, allowing for the viewer to bring their own meaning to each piece. This series, however, revolves around a common theme, so I wanted to actually take a minute to write a bit about them. This series features women interacting with small birds, which on the surface may seem rather straightforward, I wanted to give you some background on some of the ideas I had while working on this collection in order to help put it in context.
Birds in mythology are often spiritual messengers and are associated with the soul. The birds are there to bring a message of comfort, hope and cheer. Perhaps, the nurturing of something more delicate than one’s self helps in the healing of wounds inflicted by the callousness of the world. I also associate small birds with the health of the environment. When miners would dig in the earth, they would bring small songbirds with them. These fragile birds, being more sensitive to toxins in the air, would be the first indicator of poisonous fumes that could be released through careless mining. If the bird died, the miners would know that they had to reach the surface quickly or suffer the same fate. Even in our modern day world, the first signs of the declining health of the ecosystem can be seen in the death of the smallest of these animals.
The girls in these paintings at first seem to be wounded. Battered and a bit worn down. The presence of the birds, however, points at the resilience of these women. There is a sense of comfort and peace that accompanies them, and in some cases the bird represent a defiance in the face of adversity. Like the canary in the mine, the healthy presence of these birds indicates the continued survival of the subject of the painting. More importantly, the birds bring with them a message of hope; even though they may be damaged on the outside, the core of their self endures.
If you are interested in any of the pieces in this series, contact Sandra at Cactus Gallery : http://cactusgallery.blogspot.com/
Thanks for looking!
As anyone who follows me already knows, I’m notably horrible at updating things online. So, I’ve decided to try and make something of an effort at it this year. I’ll post the more edited and collected thoughts here, if you’re interested in all of the inane things I post about, then you may want to follow me on facebook, twitter, tumblr or flickr. Pick your poison. I may seem a bit quiet as the year begins, but never fear! I have a few projects that I’m just beginning work on and I will reveal more about it when I have something worthwhile to show you. Suffice to say at the moment while I am finishing a few paintings for people to whom they have been promised, I’m also sketching and planning to finally begin this project which I’ve been wanting to get started for years now. I’ve bought and cut wood. Oh yes, it will happen!
In the meantime, you can still find some of the small paintings I made just for the holidays at KALEID Gallery and at Psycho Donuts (the picture above is of one of them, which has happily already found her new home). I also always have a few things at Modern Eden available online and at the Gallery. So there you go! Now let’s see if I manage to post here again in a timely fashion. Fingers crossed
Okay, it’s a fact. I am taking forever to get everything together and update this site for real. But in the meantime, I have work that is new, and you can see it! I just had a solo show at the fantastic Anno Domini and although the show is down, you can still look at the artwork (and buy it if you so desire) here: http://www.galleryad.com/art/archives/art/backroom/lacey_bryant/
I am also very happy to have a new painting in the current group show “Myth” at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco. You can view that painting as well as the other work I have available at that lovely gallery here: http://www.moderneden.com/collections/lacey-bryant
I will be sending more work down to the Cactus Gallery in Eagle Rock soon and I’m excited to be putting together a solo show there early next year! More details on that later.
I also have a couple of little pieces in the current show at Tasty in Seattle, and I hope to send a few more things up there for the next few group shows.
I’ve recently painted an electrical box at the corner of Dana & Naglee in San Jose as a part of the Art Box SJ project. They’ve made a lovely map of all of the box locations (and are adding to it as more artists finish painting boxes) so if you’d like to take a tour you’ve got a handy starting point.
I’m currently working on finishing up some commissioned projects and getting work together for the next few group shows before my crazy busy season of haunted house painting. I’m also going to be working on a number of small scale work just for the winter season, which will be available at 5 or 6 different places, more info on where and when later. Meanwhile, I’m trying to make time for weekly hiking trips and plenty of reading to recharge my brain. Over and out!
on exhibit January 21-February 5 at Modern Eden Gallery
403 Francisco St. San Francisco, CA 94133
RSVP on Facebook
Modern Eden Gallery is pleased to announce “Soliloquies from the Silent Country”, new paintings and sculptures by San Jose artist Lacey Bryant. The opening reception will be held at Modern Eden on Saturday, January 21st from 6-9 pm. Live music will be provided by acclaimed Folk group “The Wild Reeds” [http://www.myspace.com/thewildreeds], and complimentary drinks by Quail Oak Winery will be served to our 21+ guests. The exhibition will be on display through February 5, 2012 and is free and open to the public.
Theatrically posed and surrounded by lush, illusory environments, the subjects of Lacey’s works are like illustrations in a picture book written in an unknown language. The images are somewhat familiar but certain elements remains foreign. Like a hazy dream of an imagined childhood long forgotten, the images strive to make you feel as if you just might have been there once, maybe. The stage is set in an imagined world of natural beauty beneath ominously stormy skies. It is a world poised between now and once upon a time.
The use of symbolism gives the work a universal language although many of the symbols can be interpreted in several different ways. Certain motifs are repeated throughout the works such as birds and insects, roots, branches or veins, string, theatre curtains and abandoned objects. Often emitting from the haunting subjects of her work, these symbols represent desires, feelings and afflictions. Lacey’s subjects are often blind to their own dilemmas or at least are unaware of how to change their circumstances. Curtains remind us that we are peering in on a world as artificial as our own. These images are invented to confront issues such as connection, longing, frailty, time and our own mortality.
As is common in Lacey’s work, there is a subtle tension between beautiful and unsettling elements. Though the settings are usually very light and airy there is a certain heaviness in the atmosphere and a distinct melancholy about the girls with wild hair and confrontational stares. We are presented with things we are uncomfortable with-spiders, holes, cracks and decay. This contrast is constructed to create a sense of mystery and mood, enticing the viewer to linger and embrace their own hidden dark sides or even to find the beauty in something that scares us.
Located in San Francisco’s historic North Beach, Modern Eden was opened in June 2010. Local artists Bradley Platz and Kim Larson are Co-Owners and Gallery Directors. Modern Eden Gallery has quickly become one of San Francisco’s most exciting and attractive destinations for art. Modern Eden showcases talent-driven art by San Francisco’s top emerging and established artists. Modern Eden focuses on figurative and illustrative paintings in genres ranging from realism to surrealism. You can visit the gallery at 403 Francisco Street Wednesday through Sunday 11 am-7 pm or anytime on-line at www.moderneden.com.
I have work in a few shows this July. Hooray!
Treasures of the Sea
at Cactus Gallery 4
534 Eagle Rock Blvd. Eagle Rock, CA 90041 – 323.256.6117
July 9-August 9 Opening Reception July 9th, 7-10 pm
7513 Greenwood Ave. N Seattle, WA 98103 206-706-3020
July 8-Aug 4 Opening Reception July 8th, 6pm
The New Surrealism: A Collection of Strange
at Modern Eden
403 Francisco Street San Francisco, CA 94133
July 16-Aug 13 Opening Reception July16th, 7pm
Click the image to buy directly from Modern Eden!
1815 Polk St San Francisco, CA 94109 415-931-3130
July 13-Aug 7 Opening Reception July 17 2-6pm
Thanks for reading!
I’ll be showing a new cigar box painting at Modern Eden Gallery in the city this Saturday. It’s a really beautiful space, I hope you’ll come see!
I’ve also still got a few cigar box paintings available at Cactus Gallery in L.A. at their “Have You Seen the Trees? show. Click the image to see the gallery of available works there.